Solving Naptime Problems - Page 3

By Elizabeth Pantley, author of The No-Cry Sleep Solution

  • If your child takes one nap: early afternoon (around 12:00 to 2:30); after lunch

  • If your child tends towards short naps, don’t give in and assume that it’s all the nap time that she needs. Try some of these tips for increasing the length of naps:

    • Give your child lunch or a snack a half hour before nap.

    • Keep the sleeping room dark.

    • Play soothing music or white noise during the entire nap.

    • Make certain that discomfort from teething, allergies, asthma, ear infection or other health issues aren’t preventing your child from taking a good nap. If you suspect any of these, schedule a visit to your health care professional.

    Watch for signs of tiredness

    Tired children fall asleep easily. If he isn’t tired he’ll resist sleep, but if you miss his signals, he can become overtired and be unable to fall asleep when you finally do put him to bed. Your child may demonstrate one or more of these signs that tell you he is tired and ready to nap - now:

    • losing interest in playtime

    • rubbing his eyes

    • looking glazed or unfocused

    • becoming whiny, cranky or fussy

    • losing patience with toys, activities or playmates

    • having tantrums

    • yawning

    • lying down or slumping in his seat

    • caressing a lovey or blanket

    • asking for a pacifier, bottle or to nurse

    The nap routine

    Once you have created a nap schedule that works with your child’s daily periods of tiredness, follow a simple but specific nap routine. Your child will be most comfortable if there is a pattern to his day. He may come to predict when his naptime approaches and willingly cooperate with you.

    Nap routines change

    Children’s sleep needs change over time, so remember that the routine that you set up today won’t be the same one you’re using a year from now. Be adaptable!

    Excerpted with permission by McGraw-Hill/Contemporary Publishing from The No-Cry Sleep Solution: Gentle Ways to Help Your Baby Sleep Through the Night by Elizabeth Pantley, copyright 2002

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